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Kerry Eastman

HR Advisor - Uckfield

26th October 2021

Why is responding to job applications important for employer brand?

Why is responding to job applications important for employer brand?

Firstly, lets look at the term ‘employer brand’. All employers should understand what their employees, workers, stakeholders, customers and/or clients think of them. Essentially, the overall aim of an employer brand is to be an organisation that employees would aspire and be proud to work for and one which ensures that employee experience is a positive one.

The recruitment phase is often the starting point for an employer brand as it helps to attract the right talent and retain such talent. The current job market is highly competitive. Therefore, ensuring your employer brand is reflected in your recruitment process is vital to success. Just remember, while you’re seeking the best candidate, that candidate is seeking the best workplace for the future success of their career.

‘Employer brand’ has often been described as the attributes and qualities that make an organisation stand out and promise a particular kind of employment experience. It should be reflected through an organisation’s values, people strategy and policies and, more importantly, its reputation.

When a candidate is on the lookout for employment, either independently or via a recruitment consultant, the first port of call will be an organisation’s website. This is where reputation and overall perception are key to attracting the right talent as they’ll be looking at how the organisation communicates not only to employees but to the wider audience – first impressions count!


Reed, a recruitment agency, created a poll to which 2,002 candidates responded. The results provided that 24% of candidates received no response to job applications made throughout the pandemic. Even then, those that did reported long delays, with 19% of candidates waiting more than two weeks for feedback.

So why is responding to a job applicant so important?

Whilst this seems trivial to an employer, bad candidate experience can be very damaging for employer brand. For instance, candidates are far less likely to apply for future roles or recommend the organisation’s roles to others.

Websites such as Glassdoor allow candidates to leave reviews about an organisation, including their views on the recruitment process which could be viewed by other potential candidates. Whilst it’s hard to ‘police’ the reviews, ensuring a positive recruitment experience will increase the chances of good reviews which in turn, enhances employer brand and attraction of new talent.

It’s also important to consider the amount of time and effort put into preparing a CV and/or cover letter. Whilst responding to all applicants seems like an unprofitable and time consuming task, it’s important to display good communication skills from the outset.

Responses could include an automated email thanking the applicant for their application for the position and/or directing them to the organisation’s social media pages for further information. In any event, the email should specify when they’re likely to hear back from the recruitment team regarding their application. Don’t leave applicant’s guessing. This becomes time consuming and stressful for the recruitment team as candidates will be following up via email and telephone until they receive a response.

Do you need help improving your recruitment strategy? The GatekeeperHR team is here to help. GatekeeperHR is a fixed cost, employment law and HR retainer service which provides businesses with access to a dedicated team of experienced lawyers and HR professionals who you can speak to, or meet face-to-face, at any time. The service includes a full HR compliance audit, access to an online portal full of valuable employment law and HR resources and an annual training session on topics of your choosing. To find out more about GatekeeperHR, please contact us or call 01825 744413.

Alternatively, you can browse the GatekeeperHR website, sign up for a free trial or download our brochure by visiting

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